As writers, it’s easy to become set in our ways and to write the same type of stories, articles etc. So make this the year you write something new. You never know where it might lead.
I thought I’d take up my own advice and so I tried writing something for the ‘We love to eat‘ slot in ‘The Guardian‘. I’ve never even written out a recipe before, let alone sent one in to a national newspaper. I obviously did okay, as evidenced in last weekend’s ‘Family’ supplement:
We love to eat: Mum’s seriously scrumptious sponge
170g self-raising flour
170g caster sugar
115g icing sugar
200g bar of chocolate
Marshmallows, Maltesers, sprinkles, etc
In a bowl, mix together the self-raising flour and caster sugar and 170g butter. Beat in the eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Stir until you have a smooth mixture. Spoon the mix equally in to two 7in cake tins. Bake at 150C/gas mark 2 for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
For the buttercream filling, add 70g butter to the icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence to flavour. Beat together until smooth and creamy. Add a small amount of milk if necessary to loosen the mixture. Spread the filling on the inside of one of the cooled cake halves. Place the other cake half on top, insides together.
For the topping, break a third of a 200g bar of chocolate into a glass bowl. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan of water and gently heat until the chocolate has melted. Spread the chocolate over the top of the cake. While the chocolate is still soft, decorate with marshmallows, Maltesers, hundreds and thousands, chocolate stars – anything you like.
I loved it when Mum said she was going to make a sponge – especially licking out the bowl. She would sit me on the worktop and I would run my fingers round the bowl and slurp the gooey mixture. When I was about eight, I started to help Mum. Money was tight, so sometimes there would be only a little buttercream in the middle and a dusting of sugar on top.
Perhaps that’s why, when I had my daughter, we packed everything we could into the cake. Often buttercream would be oozing over the sides and the toppings became more elaborate, crammed with tasty treats. I feel we have done Mum proud but, we both agree that there is nothing quite like Mum’s sponge.
Esther Newton, The Guardian, Sat.3rd January 2015.
If I can do it, so can you!